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User friendly or just Mac friendly?

by misstrust / November 24, 2006 6:57 AM PST

I've been reading about Macs lately, I need a notebook for home/home office and those Macbooks sure are pretty..

From what I've read however, it seems that to fully enjoy all the features that the Mac OS and software offer, the people you interact with online need to also have that software, i.e..they have to have a Mac too. If you want to use .Mac, iChat and the nice online picture presentation features, your buddies and family also have to have .Mac etc. Of course you can use AIM too but no-one i know is going to use anything from AOL. Seems like I'd be a very lonely Mac user.

My needs in a notebook are all about web development and connecting with family and friends overseas. Not one of them has a Mac nor will be able to just run out and get one. Also the built in website building features you get seem to be only good for other Mac users too.

Am i reading this stuff wrong or is that how it is?

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They sure are pretty, and more
by easily confused / November 24, 2006 8:51 AM PST

Firstly the thing about PCs/Macs is that I use a PC, whereas I adore my Macs (iMac + MacBook). I love spending time on them - the soft/hardware integration is a joy, and yes, they are beautiful. Most of my friends have PCs too + I live overseas so I use Skype with the built in iSight camera, and there you go, free video calls to your friends. Problem solved.

Re: web development, well - if you can't use it well enough in OSX, you simply install Bootcamp or Parallels and put Windows XP in there too. Personally I have no reason to do that - ugh! I sold my old iBook to my girlfriend and it took her about a month to go from 'yeah whatever' to a state of interest to a state of joy. I give you about the same time. For me moving to Macs was like stopping smoking - after a period of frustration you finally get the point, and unless you're dumb you never go back.

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Really though...more what?
by misstrust / November 24, 2006 1:26 PM PST

Thanks for the response, I appreciate your input!

You definitely have a point about Skype, I had forgotten all about that. But I could just as easily buy a Laptop PC with a webcam, for cheaper, and still use Skype. Right?

So, you seem to be saying that i have read the info correctly. Does that mean most of the much applauded, easy to use, productivity enhancing applications bundled with the Mac are going to be useless to me because I live in a PC world? So, I'll have to use the old PC programs I'm used to anyway? I wanted to try using BlueVoda web builder but that is PC only. In addition, one thing I forgot to mention is that I use Photoshop for graphic design/photo editing as part of my web development activities, and I've heard Photoshop is running slower on Mac right now than it does on a PC.

One of the advantages of Mac over PC is supposed to be the software bundle you get with it, that's one of the main bonuses used in these forums to justify the extra cost of a Mac vs a PC. Same with the OS. What point is there in loading Windows when you could just buy a PC if you want to use Windows AND save the hard drive space used for the extra operating system?

Can anyone help me with this? If you can't use the great stuff you paid for with the machine because it is deliberately made only for interacting with users of the same machine, and you don't know anyone else who has you end up basically having to convert it back into a PC....and you never get to use this great software you paid for...then why bother? Why would anyone do that??? THAT'S dumb. So tell me, what am I missing here? There must be a reason why people switch and I'd really like to hear it.

Sorry to be blunt, but I've seen no real answers to this obvious question in the forum, only come-backs like, "..well you'll learn when you wise up and get one".

Thanks to all for reading.

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I must be missing something...
by boya84 / November 24, 2006 2:28 PM PST

There are many applications which are cross platform - but the software has to be written or ported for the particular operating system.

Microsoft Office applications are cross platform.

Photoshop is cross-platform (I don;t know about the response time issue - from what I can see, the current DuoCore Macs are pretty snappy with Photoshop, but I don't know what you are basing that comment on). It probably depends on what filter or plug-in is being used...

Yahoo IM is cross platform. As is Skype (as you know).

The bundled Apple applications in iLife (iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto, iTunes, GarageBand) are indeed written for MacOSX... Just as the various Windows-only apps like MovieMaker were written for Windows. But in these cases, lets take a look:

For iMovie, you import your video, edit and output a QuickTime or AVI file that Windows or Mac users can watch. Or you add it to iDVD for menuing and burn a DVD that Windows or MacOS or a DVD player can use. For iPhoto, you import photos from a camera and manipulate and save in an album - or export as a JPEG that Windows or Mac Users or browsers can use... and GarageBand can manipulate audio files and export as MP3 format... and iTunes lets you use the iTunes store or burn CDs of your music. You use PhotoShop, so iPhoto is not for you (too low-end).

One of the reasons people switch is because - as you have already noticed - the hardware is elegant. The operating system and bundled applications are equally elegant. It does not carry the specter of fighting against 114,000 viruses. I use a G5 flatpanel and do not have antivirus software. There are a lot of other applications - including web development ploatforms - but they will likely not be what you use in a Windows environment today, so you will have a learning curve. Adobe DreamWeaver, GoLive, AutoDesk Maya... or you could continue using the Windows-only applications on the single machine...

I am a former IT manager - I left because I wanted to. I've supported Windows and Macs. I have a house full of networked Apple gear, with an HP laser printer and a Canon inkjet. I use a Windows machine because my company makes me. I add it to the network when I need to and share files as needed.

Do you need to get rid of your existing Windows machine? Years ago, a friend was a web developer... and using a G4 tower installed a couple of monitor cards and using Virtual PC, had a hard drive running Windows95, on another drive was running WindowsNT and his main drive he ran MacOS9. The NT virtual machine was a web server, but he could see the results of his develpment (in MacOS) from Mac and Windows browsers... and he kept a good preferences file of the NT server so when it crashed (asit did occasionally) rather than take all day rebuilding the environment, he would trash the bad preferences file, drag in the known good one and restart the NT server - in about 5 minutes... I am not suggesting you do this - but perhaps both machines for your computing requirements are in order...

I hope this helps... at least so you get a little insight as to why some people switch... Does this help fill in some of the details you are looking for or did I totally miss the mark?

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Thank you
by misstrust / November 25, 2006 10:51 AM PST

Yes, it helps a lot. I've been reading more on Apple's website too, going through the step by step, "why you'll love a mac" etc. on these pages:

Yes, this trash Laptop PC has to's just old, 4 years old, and the keyboard doesn't work too well anymore, drives me crazy when I'm trying to input passwords in particular. There is a PC tower here I can jump onto if i really need to but it is in constant use so i would be inconveniencing someone. I need my own fully functional machine.

I had a lot of overall concerns that have been addressed, both by yourself and the info on the Apple website.

I am seriously considering a Macbook now, just not sure yet if my budget will stretch that far!

Thanks so much for the help.

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Pretty and more
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / November 24, 2006 10:38 PM PST

I think you totally misread the information posted by easyilyconfused.

I believe easilyconfused was telling you that the included software that comes with the Mac is a joy to use. Well built, elegant and easy to use.

He told you that, while he uses a PC, he owns two Macs. He enjoys using them and feels that that the hardware/software integration is superb. (Once you have used iMovieHD and seen the ease with which you can manipulate media from iPhoto/iTunes/Anywhere, you will understand the meaning of well integrated.)
He also mentioned that if you could not use the Web development tools that were designed for the Mac, for whatever reason, you could always fall back on Web Development tools for Windows by running XP on your Mac.

Note also that he told you that they had sold an old iBook to his girlfriend, who sounded like a typical Windows user, and within a very short space of time, became exceptionally pleased with her new machine and OS.

Finally he told you that once you have made the switch and have stopped trying to do things exactly the same way as you would in Windows, you finally realize what you have been missing all these years.

Finally: "..well you'll learn when you wise up and get one". I believe you have mistranslated that comment too. You may have been told that you would 'Fully understand what people are talking about, when you make the switch'.

Boya84 has an interesting post regarding software.

See you when you make the switch. Happy


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I owe you an apology
by misstrust / November 25, 2006 1:06 PM PST
In reply to: Pretty and more

It looks like we have a misunderstanding here! I sure hope I can clear it up.

Let me say right away that I'm very grateful to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to respond to my post. You have all helped me form a better and more positive understanding of Mac and Mac software.

Please believe me, I have no intention of causing offense here and i hope you guys (especially easilyconfused) will accept my apology if I have upset you. I did not mean to appear to twist anyone's words: my remark referring to "...come-backs like, '..well you'll learn when you wise up and get one'" was not in any way directed at easilyconfused, nor was any kind of parody intended. I was trying to say, that I have read that kind of thing in other posts (not this one), I was not trying to say that I thought easilyconfused was saying that to me. Similarly, on second reading it looks like the rest of my post in response to easilyconfused could have been written better.

This isn't the first time I've written something that could be taken the wrong way, I really should have learned by now to write with more care. I'm sorry everyone. Thank you truly for your help.

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Are you thinking iLife is pro-level here?
by grimgraphix / November 25, 2006 2:24 AM PST

You keep talking as if the whole sales point for a mac is iLife and your disappointed it is not more cross-platform here... iLife is not meant to be pro-level software for web development... it is on a mac for a mac owner's pleasure and convenience. It is there so that the mac owner doesn't have to go buy a bunch more software to produce slick digital media projects like you have to do with most winboxes. For most everyday computer users they will never need anything more than iLife - it is pretty cool it comes with the computer out of the box!

If you are gonna do web development with a computer your gonna use Dreamweaver anyway (unless your hand coding xhtml, css, javascript, php, etc.)... a carpenter buys pro level tools... a web designer does the same. iWeb is not meant to be a substitute... but if you pay for .mac service, any web page you build with it can be viewed by all your friends with a PC.

As for IM software? iChat is nice for mac users and you are right that PC users are left out...BUT... the guy on the other end has to have the same software on their computer anyway before you can use any IM service... and Skype is friendly and exactly the right price (free) so why dwell on IM conflicts?

Bottom line is that most of what you produce with iLife can be used on a win box (video and audio projects, DVDs and CDs) so you get to play right out of the box.

The current adobe creative suite (2) is not optimized to run on the new macs... but still runs pretty darn fast. The next version will be optimized... problem solved. If you are looking for optimized run speeds to enhance work productivity then you shouldn't even be looking at a laptop anyway (" I could just as easily buy a Laptop PC "), you should be looking at towers where you can load up on ram and enhanced video card (will you be using more than one monitor?).

Cost of a mac varies and it is not just because of the bundled software. The hardware is more expensive but it is good quality (as opposed to some of the bargain brand stuff out there today). Even so... recent price comparisons between a mac tower and a Dell of comparable features showed the mac to be cheaper. The truth is that apple isn't going to sell cheap stuff just to get customers.

As I read your posts it seems you are looking for reasons not to buy a mac. I suggest you buy a used mac on ebay before you get a full priced model... I use a 12" iBook G4 1.2 ghz and run both macromedia 2004 mx and adobe cs suites on it with no problem. You can buy the machine at auction right now for around $350.00 US dollars. Try it out... if you don't like it then you still have a nifty portable that is practically impervious to virus and spyware anyway. There is also plenty of free ware out there for you to play with as well. The only thing you should not expect a mac to do for you is to be a gaming machine.

If you get a mac let us know how it worked out... good luck! Happy

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Thanks for the response
by misstrust / November 25, 2006 2:38 PM PST

That was very detailed and informative. You helped clear up some wrong ideas I had about the software and clarified things a lot. I'll give serious consideration to your advice about picking one up on Ebay to try out. I will let you know how it works out if I go for the switch!

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I'll put in my two cents here.
by Kiddpeat / December 3, 2006 3:55 PM PST

I am a long time Windows user who has been exposed to Macs at the local college. I've used the machines, and some of their software.

I am definitely unimpressed. I find no magic. The Macs at school hang more frequently than my Windows machine does (almost never). Since the machines I use were purchased by a school, they lack extra cost options. That means, most prominently, that hopeless one button mouse which is a major pain.

Personally, I think there is a lot of group think that goes on with the Mac. Several teachers, for example, espouse the Mac, but have no idea what makes it different than Windows. I run the same apps (Photoshop) on my Windows machine, or apps which are more powerful than their Apple counterparts. I love it that I can simply go home, and work in a much more productive environment.

The money I save? I put it into more useful things like cameras and software that are vastly more useful and enjoyable to me.

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Hey thanks!
by misstrust / December 5, 2006 1:47 PM PST

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm not sure what you meant by, "a lot of group think", could you explain that to me?

Your post is interesting. I had decided to go down to my local Apple store and test drive the Macbook/Macbook Pro in order to come to a decision. I am still in dire need of a good laptop but my funding is very late arriving, which has allowed me a good long time to think about what I need. My work environment makes certain features of the Macbook Pro very appealing: illuminated keyboard for one thing, and I'm sick of working on low caliber plastic-fantastic machines. To give you a quick idea I'm now working on a Toshiba Satellite 1805-S274, which believe it or not is a step up from the last laptop I was using. clearly have something that works for you, what brands/models do you recommend as an alternative to a Mac?

Thanks again for your response.

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Basing an opinion on school computers...
by grimgraphix / December 6, 2006 11:10 AM PST
In reply to: Hey thanks!

I have always appreciated Kidd's opinion regarding technical matters concerning photography but I feel compelled to elaborate on his comments about macintosh computers. In his experience he has found the best performance from computers comes from working on his own Windows MS driven machine at home.

When he expresses his opinion about apple macs in the past, he has always said his experience is based on the time he has spent on apples at his school's mac supplied classrooms. The computers he talks about are older model G4/G5 (?) models that see constant use by multiple users everyday. They also have used the old apple standard one button mouse (which any mac user will tell you are only adequate at best). Aside from this he has also made it clear that he feels that the macintosh OS in general is inadequate as well. Anyone who likes and uses the system is at best deluded and at worst a fool... in short, he thinks macintosh users have been brain washed and buy into some hype when they express a preference for apple.

Consider this about college classroom computers... my graphics department equipped our classrooms with brand new dual processor G5 towers (using the multi-button mighty mouse) at the beginning of this fall semester. I have seen these towers crash every week in the labs. My CAD classrooms were equipped with brand new Dell top of the line work stations just a month ago... I have seen them crash every week as well.

The opinion I have formed from my experience with computers using various operating systems at a college is... College students are capable of causing any computer in the world to break down with remarkable skill and regularity.

The new macbooks and pros are some fun, powerful products... I test drove one this past week while tutoring a fellow student in film editing. He was also using the iLife 06 suite for editing and authoring a DVD as his final project. I have used iLife 05 but not the newer 06. I found the upgrade in features with the newer iLife package so impressive that I just ordered it and am putting off producing family vacation DVDs for christmas stocking stuffers until I get the new software!

Word of advice. I own and use both OSX and XP machines for work, school and play. No matter what operating system you use. If you are going to do multimedia work of any sort... load up on as much RAM as you can afford.

For what it is worth, I use a PC because I have to and I use a mac because I enjoy doing so.

grim Happy

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Sorry about the delay. I don't come here regularly.
by Kiddpeat / December 11, 2006 3:08 PM PST
In reply to: Hey thanks!

I'll try to cover two birds with one response.

First, group think. There is a tendency in some communities, like photography for example, to think that Apple/Mac is THE premier technology. If you don't use it, they think you are using an inferior technology. The problem is that, frequently, the opinions are based on perceptions coming from the rest of the Apple/Mac/Photography community. Most people in that community are not familiar with other technologies, and simply reflect the group consensus. I recently challenged an instructor to tell me what the Apple/Mac brought to the table that makes it superior or unique. He had no answer. On another occasion, he asked if my results came from a Mac, and was surprised when I said they do not. He is not personally well informed about the technologies involved, and relies on others who he believes are informed. There is, of course, not much likelihood that these other people understand the Windows world any better than he does.

The second issue is exemplified by Grim's comments which I scanned. They take the form of "You haven't used the latest version of Apple's technology" which can refer to either hardware or software. Thus, your problems would not occur if you had the latest Apple OS, or the latest Apple hardware. The points missed in the discussion include:

Who insisted for so long that Apple would ship only one button mouses? Steve Jobs. Who still controls the design of Apple technology?

The assumption that the machines I use are in some way inferior or outmoded. Further exploration usually reveals that the technology I access is very recent. If I insisted that only the Windows machines running all the latest hardware and software were fit for comparison, the Windows image would improve substantially.

At the end of the day, I have to say "What would Apple give me that I don't already have?" The answer? Nothing. What would it cost to buy a new Apple machine PLUS Mac compatible versions of all my software? It looks to me like it would be a substantial expense with little or no benefit. I would rather spend that money on equipment and technologies that I do not already have.

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Kidd, you are correct to a degree...
by grimgraphix / December 12, 2006 2:57 AM PST

the equipment out there is comparable, the results are comparable, and many teachers (since that is who you are referencing here) are sheltered when it comes to available tech and what it does.

I can't deny that many computer artists also use macs because they were told to, and have stuck to that advice ever since. But the thing you seem to overlook is this... some of us who use macs do so because we like apple products better. I have used winboxes, I have used linux machines, I simply like working on my mac better than working on the other platforms. This wasn't "group think" that made my choice for me, it was experience.

Another proud tradition of the PC crowd that you seem to think mac users can't or won't do is modding your machine. The first thing many of us do is.... (drum roll)... buy a multi-button mouse! Wink You may think it asinine for "THE JOBS" to have insisted on the 1 button hockey puck for all these years but I have to say from experience that the average mouse that ships with any PC ends up getting upgraded to a better model soon after set up anyway. For multimedia and graphics professionals the question of a mouse is moot anyway since many of us use a digital pen/tablet.

Lastly you state "What would Apple give me that I don't already have?" The answer? Nothing." Actually that isn't quite true or maybe I should say it is entirely and sadly true that you have something apple users don't have... Security problems out the wazoo. I won't make the claim that this will always be true but for the past few years and for at least the life of the WindowsXP OS it will be true. I wait to see how Vista compares.

Of course I may go back to using windows products with Vista as my new OS since it looks so much like OSX I may actually end up liking it as much as I do my mac! I simply hope Vista is a lot less work to use and maintain because, in the end, I think mac users like their equipment mainly because you spend a lot more time using the computer and a lot less time working with the computer when you have a mac.

Look, as I said before, I own both, I use both, I simply like the mac better.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go "work" my XP machine (sadly, Kidd is right when he says it costs to port all your software over to a new platform but I will get there someday).


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A 'puter is a 'puter - and an opinion is an opinion.
by boya84 / December 12, 2006 6:46 AM PST

I was the IT manager responsible for 500 Windows (mostly Compaqs) machines and 500 Apple Macintoshes. 1 Mac issue = 5-6 Windows issues. New job... now work makes me use XP (on a HP/Compaq) and I continue to spend my money on Macs.

What has Apple given us?

The Graphical User Interface (I know, originally from Xparc, but it was not commercialized) well before Windows 3.whatever.

The mouse.

Tablets and styli.

1 meg RAM... then 4 meg RAM... no requirement for extended memory or expanded memory adjustments. So the early days needed a diode clipped - no big deal.

SCSI for external devices.

3.5 inch "floppy discs" - 400k and 800k...

Get rid of the floppy discs...

Local Area Networking (AppleTalk over LocalTalk) made easy over twisted pair.

PostScript (from Adobe) on a Laser Printer (Apple LaserWriter).

All-in-one desktop - first in Lisa, then the 20th Anniversary machine, now in the iMac.

Newton - hey, it was ahead of its time.

Speach synthesis - built-in.

The CRT iMacs were first with USB.


Virtual OS (recall the SoftPC and SoftWindows days before BootCamp).

QuickTime. FileMaker. Standard Definition, then High Definition Video editing in iMovie. iDVD, iPhoto, GarageBand.

iPod. iTunes.

FinalCut. DVD Studio. Compressor.

Were there good products from Apple? Yes. Bad ones? Yup. But innovation pushed all of us to pay attention.

No one ever accused Microsoft of "innovating"... DOS, Extended and expanded memory, comm port assignment problems, Windows 3.1, Word and Excel, Windows ME, Dave, susceptibility to infection and hacks, Zune and it's online distribution and DRM that does not work with it's own operating systems, Vista is 4-5 years late. "Computers don't need more than 64k RAM" or something like that. "The internet is a fad" or something like that. "I'd buy a Mac but I work at Microsoft" or something like that. Access is good. Halo is OK - but again, based on concepts from others.

If anyone is comfortable with a machine, cool. Stay there. If someone asks an opinion as to why they should change, we share our experience.

I use an Apple Macintosh - It has a low market share. I love my computer. It runs on the same electricity that all other personal computers run on. It uses the same CD and DVD blanks other personal computers use. I still use a 1-button mouse. I also use ethernet and run IP over it - just like most other computers. It does all the tasks I need it to do (and then some), quickly, efficiently, and makes computing a fun experience.

I use a Sony HDR-HC1 high definition camcorder - It has a low market share. I like my camcorder. It runs on the same electricity and uses the same miniDV tapes that lots of camcorders use. It does all the tasks I need it to do (and then some), quickly, efficiently, and makes video taping stuff a fun experience.

I drive a Cadillac CTS - It has a low market share. I like my car. It runs on the same gas many other cars run on. It's operating system is not found in other vehicles (the navigation/audio/heating/cooling control center). Tires are a bit special as is the engine. It does all the tasks I need it to do (and then some), quickly, efficiently and makes driving a fun experience.

I don't remember reading anywhere in this thread that the traditional Windows machines are somehow inferior. What I do know is the traditional Windows machines are capable of performing personal computing tasks. I also know that I have never heard someone say they LOVE their Windows machine. I have heard lots of people say they LOVE their Macintoshes (yeah - and I've heard some say they hate them too... typically what I hear coming with traditional Windows machines users running Windows is they "hate the stupid computer").

So... a machine is a machine and an opinion is an opinion. We choose what we choose based on experience - our own and of others - and perceived affordability. And after my many years of IT Management experience, I continue to spend my personal money on Apple gear because it is generally elegant in design and implementation - and I am happy to reward a company for the innovations they have brought to the personal computing environment. Yes, I am a shareholder. The only time there are Microsoft products in my home is when my work computer is there - and I am not a shareholder.

I am not a photographer - and only recently started down the videography path.

All this said, "What would Apple give you that you don't already have?" Probably nothing. Just keep in mind that if there was no Apple, you probably wouldn't have "it" and we'd all still be living in a command-line interface world... Yeah. That doesn't sound fun at all.

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Chuckle. Yes, I know the Apple fans believe that Apple
by Kiddpeat / December 13, 2006 3:38 PM PST

invented all the technology we now use. Who invented the graphical user interface? Apple? Nope! Xerox. Jobs ripped it off. Remember the Apple II? Thank God I never had to try to program one. Who leaves all their users behind when they introduce a new machine and/or OS? Apple. Don't get me started. I could go on for a long time.

MS has done a ton of innovating. Frankly, I think they've done an amazing job of supporting 1,000s of different hardware devices, and lots of users running software for older versions of the OS. My daughter can still run things written for Windows 95, and perhaps earlier. Can Apple say that? I don't think so.

To me, it's just part of the Apple group think to say that all the technology comes from Apple. There are hundreds of companies developing hardware and software for Windows platforms. Apple isn't competing with Microsoft. They're competing with most of the world including some of their best vendors (Adobe for one). It's a battle they can't, and haven't, won.

Grim mentions Windows computers hanging in the academic environment. I've had several classes which use Windows machines. I've never had one hang. I've had Macs hang on several occasions, but never a Windows machine. I have seen others with machines that hang. The most recent ones I recall were hardware problems.

Viruses? I don't think I've ever had one. I do run with all screens up however. I think I'm much safer than a Mac user who blithely assumes that he/she is invulnerable, and doesn't need to run security. There are more and more exploits of the Mac OS and its applications surfacing all the time. Some are zero day exploits.

Pen and tablet? Yes, I've used them for several years now. That doesn't mean I've discarded my mouse. A good two, or more, button mouse is a lot more useful in many situations than a pen. Replace the mouse that came with my machine? Nope. It's been years since I've seen a Windows machine shipped with a mouse that needed to be replaced, and, in my previous life, I worked in systems.

Let's see. Photoshop CS2 Suite, Windows Office, Sony Vegas, Sound Forge, Acid, DVD Architect, CD Architect, voice recognition, Epson scanning, OCR, a variety of media players, internet, 5.1 24bit sound system, 48 bit color video, tethered photo capture, built in TV, and more. What was it that Apple was going to do for me that I don't already have?

Do I love my Windows machine? Let's face it, a machine is still just a machine no matter how slick it is. What I love is what it does for me. I don't even consider Apple as a desirable vendor. I've been around too long. I've seen what they do, and how they behave. I've also seen enough of their products to know they are not impressive. I still remember how iTunes exposed my machine to viruses, and, when installing the fix, how it trashed all my purchased music. Gone! Poof! Fortunately, WMP recovered it all. Perhaps the biggest problem with Macs is that the users do love their machines. It's emotional, and they become blind to the flaws and defects.

Yes, I like Windows. It just works.

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I am happy that Windows works for you.
by boya84 / December 13, 2006 10:48 PM PST

It works for me too. Macintoshes just work better for me.

If you had actually read what I wrote, you would know that I did not attribute all those technologies to being Apple "inventions" Actually, with the exception of FireWire, it is common knowledge that all the other technologies came from elsewhere - but would likely not be on the machines we use today if *a* company had not adopted that technology - and pushed the envelope to get the wintel hegemony to catch up. And yes, I mentioned XParc... that would be Xerox Parc - the R&D facility that developed the GUI that the Steves adopted - "ripped off" to use your words.

I guess that means that Microsoft "ripped off" DOS, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access Flight Simulator and whatever other software company they crushed - which is why that company has been found guilty in court - globally - of unfair business practices - but I digress.

That your daughter can run things from Windows95 is nice - and I can run things under MacOS9 either in a Virtual OS or direct Boot - what is your point? Backward compatibility, many times, does work - but is not necessarily "supported"... by either company or the software manufacturer. But if you think that running an older Operating system to run old software is "innovating", you can have at it... Both companies have done a pretty good job at connecting with lots of third party devices. When developers stick to standards, things work better. (I have an analog-digital bridge that was touted as "Windows only" only to find that the reference was to the software and drivers included in the box - which I did not need because plugging the box in to my Mac resulted in it "just working" with the existing OS.)

I am glad that you have not had any viruses - neither have I, but the several minutes a week spent waiting for the anti-virus auto update to finish... over the last several years, the bandwidth consumed by so many people downloading a multi-meg definitions file to protect against nearly 500,000 viruses, and the care and feeding of third party protection plus the biweekly or monthly critical update and the reboots does not strike me as being very productive... unless you are the manufacturer of the software.

I remember when the iTunes "exposure" happened, too... And I also remember when Microsoft shipped an infected service pack - not just exposure. And when they shipped the developer discs WITH infection - not just exposure. And the (now) monthly (but typically biweekly) updates they ship to fix "critical vulnerabilities".

I am not blind to flaws and defects - and rather, I have been quite vocal directly to Apple when it is deserved. It used to be that way with Microsoft, too - but there were too many times and I just got tired of it.

I also suggested that if you are happy with what you have, to stay with it...

When the original poster asked if she should switch - in a Mac forum, what sort of response would you expect? Especially since the new crop of machines can run either OS, she could have the hardware elegance of an Apple Macintosh with whichever OS she wants. After being an IT manager for a large corporation, my experience says stand-alone users who need to be self-supporting and do not have a contracted IT infrastructure behind them should give serious consideration to an known, reported stable, platform. Is XP with service pack 2 and all the updates better than the Windows OS of years ago? Yes, it certainly is - and I fully expect that Vista will be even better. Between XP and Vista (and the infections already awaiting Vista), as time marches on, they will both be very Mac-like. Because that is what they are working to be. And to "shake up Microsoft", even Mr Alchin said so...

Personally, I'll just use MacOS. And as with cars, cameras, microphones, and pretty much anything else out there, it is all about choice. And in this case, I guess we can agree to disagree and select and recommend the product that mkaes sense to us.

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So, the answer to my question is......
by Kiddpeat / December 20, 2006 10:26 PM PST

What can Apple give me that I don't already have?


I read what you wrote. The problem is that you failed to acknowledge in your original post that these technologies did not come from Apple. Apple merely copied, or adopted, what someone else had already developed. Thus, Apple is far more of an adopter than an innovator. That is not the message that Apple seeks to communicate. Apple is still trying to say they have the great technologies while Windows machines do not. Apple is lying, but I guess you know that.

Microsoft did not 'rip off' DOS, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or their other key technologies. DOS was purchased, and subsequently developed by Microsoft. It was not ripped off as was the Xerox interface, and so much else that Jobs and Wozniak did. Word, Excel, etc. were developed from scratch by Microsoft for the Windows platform. They were different products, and their originality was never questioned. You may recall that Borland was challenged for copying the Lotus interface, but Microsoft's different design was not challenged.

My point on running older software is that Microsoft supported that ability. Apple did not. Apple is legendary for leaving their customers high and dry. You either upgrade to versions which work with the latest Apple OS, or you die on the vine. That has never been the case with MS. That's one thing that has built their marketshare. The results speak for themselves. You touted Apple's early discard of the floppy drive as a technological acheivement. Actually, it's an example of Apple abandoning their users. MS didn't drop their support because some people still needed that function. BTW, MS doesn't control the hardware on Windows machines. Floppy drives were eventually dropped as standard equipment by companies like Dell who wanted to get rid of the cost. They are still supported by Windows.

Viruses. Windows users are well aware of the threat. Apple/Mac users largely ignore it. Viruses, etc. now pretty much work in stealth mode. They attempt to hide their presence, and Macs are becoming more and more vulnerable as the attention on them grows. Guess who will never know what has, or will, hit them. Me? I'ld rather be protected than a sitting duck. You'll never know when you've been had, and no one is going to tell you.

I guess you missed my point on iTunes. It destroyed my purchased library of music with no recourse or hope of recovery. There's no excuse for that. I'm simply grateful that technology from Microsoft recovered every bit of the music. I don't buy from iTunes anymore.

It's OK with me if some people prefer the Mac. I object when someone claims that it is superior in any way to Windows. It isn't. Apple tries to suck people in with a false allure that simply costs them more money. I am simply pointing out that the image is mere marketing. There is very little substance behind it.

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You are hilarious!
by boya84 / December 21, 2006 1:59 AM PST

Is that intentional?

You said: "What can Apple give me that I don't already have?"

I agreed with you.

You said: "The problem is that you failed to acknowledge in your original post that these technologies did not come from Apple. Apple merely copied, or adopted, what someone else had already developed"
I agree with you... I acknowledged Xparc. I acknowledged Adobe. My apologies for not listing the Standards bodies for SCSI and USB and FireWire (which DID come from Apple.)

You said: "Microsoft did not 'rip off' DOS, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or their other key technologies."
That is not how lots of other people see it - and that is not how I see it. Visicalc and DRDOS and WordPerfect and all the small business that were crushed because they were not allowed a foot in the door to develop - only to have their concepts later rolled out. The European Union and the US State Federal courts and the antitrust folks seem to have thought along similar lines - just because MS paid massive fines does not let them off the hook.

Microsoft and Apple are both guilty of the requirement to upgrade to current versions/drivers/DLLs, etc... That Apple provided OS9.2 to boot or to run inside OSX speaks volumes to the "backward compatibility" issue.

Whether Microsoft "controls" the hardware manufacturers is open for debate - I do recall the battle just a couple of years ago because of the potential of installing Linux rather than Windows... or did you conveniently drop that series of court cases from your memory? MacOS still supports floppies as well, so let's not start propagating inaccurate information. Just because the hardware was removed does not mean the media is not supported. The floppy drives were dropped because they can't hold enough data - not because Apple maliciously abandoned their customers. If you want to talk about customers being abandoned or current version requirements, let's not forget that MS has dropped support for Windows ME, 95, and many of the earlier releases of many of their applications. Like I said, both companies are guilty of this - but it is too costly to be everything to everyone and support every piece of code forever.

My Dell laptop had a bay for a drive - floppy or CD/DVD. The floppy drive lived in a drawer - the CD/DVD drive was always in the bay. My HP/Compaq portable did not come with a floppy. OMG, I must have been abandoned... No - it is no longer needed, but an external floppy could be used... this is the same for Macintoshes. Not a MS issue, I agree.

You said: "Windows users are well aware of the threat"...
I wish they were - then perhaps more would use anti-virus apps and not impact the rest of the network as these things propagate. Macs are becoming more vulnearable to hacks - I agree... not necessarily "viruses" in the traditional sense, but other types of insidious infections. Bummer. But it has been a good long virus-free ride so far. The concern is that when an operating system has NOT EVEN been released already has infections waiting for it - you have to wonder. And if Windows users are SO aware, why do Windows machines continue to get infected with OLD viruses (new ones I can *almost* understand, but OLD ones? i.e., "zero day".)

Your iTunes collection was destroyed - That is terrible. My sincerest condolences. You are obviously an extremely knowledgeable and skilled computer person. Your experience is quite impressive. I am glad you were able to recover your data, regardless of the tools used. I just can't help but thinking that regardless of the platform, you, of all people, know that data loss prevention is simple to do and can happen on any machine since personal computers are electromechanical devices that are measured using Mean Time Between Failure. You, of all people, should understand that whether hardware or software "failure" or corruption, data loss can happen. You, of all people, know you should be backing up your data - which would render your super-human data recovery efforts moot. That you don't buy from iTunes is your choice - for whatever reason. There are lots of alternatives.

You said: "Apple tries to suck people in with a false allure that simply costs them more money."
Dell, as a market leader, was used as a comparison on initial purchase as compared to An Apple Macintosh OSX machine. Apple was cheaper. I guess you didn't see that series of articles over the summer. But here are some links:
Even CNET says so:
There are more - but you get the idea... and, having previously managed a 500 Mac/500 Windows multi-site network, and knowing that for every 1 Macintosh support call, I would get 5 Windows support calls, and knowing that the effective life of a MacOS hardware platform was typically 2 years longer than an equivalent Windows machine, and being responsible for acquiring and disposing of the machines, and knowing I could get more money disposing of the Macs than the Windows machines, I know the Total Life Cycle cost of a Mac is substantially less than that of a Windows machine... but that's just my real-life experience.

You said: "I am simply pointing out that the image is mere marketing. There is very little substance behind it."

I went back through time just so we can all see this is a long-term item... from non-Apple entities... not something with "no substance"...

There's a lot more - but these looked fun - of course, let's not forget the various design awards from the MacSE and ImageWriter printer, the Cube, iPod, the original iMacs, and I am glad all of us Time Magazine People of the Year - Internet Users - are represented by an iMac... but apparently these have "no substance" in your mind.

So I guess these non-Apple entities are all wrong... Interesting observation you have.

Let's get back to your ORIGINAL question and my original response:

You said: "What can Apple give me that I don't already have?"

I agree with you.

Thank you SO much for making my day!

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More on "very little substance"...
by boya84 / December 21, 2006 6:05 AM PST

from yet another non-Apple source...

See paragraphs 11 and 12.

If getting a computer on the net easily and quickly and providing the opportunity to actually bring the internet to the masses (if memory serves, this was about the time when Microsoft's still considered the internet a "fad") is "very little substance", then I must be missing a definition or two around here...

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I don't know why you are fighting if you agree with me. I
by Kiddpeat / December 26, 2006 4:52 AM PST

have tarried coming back here because I didn't want the hassle and distraction during final projects at the end of the semester. You had a long post. I will try to respond to some of your points.

With respect to Microsoft 'ripping' things off, you mention Visicalc, DRDOS, and Wordperfect. Let's start at the root; DRDOS. Microsoft certainly did not rip off DRDOS. If you knew anything about the history, you would know that. Digital Research did not invent the Operating System, and it was not a pioneer on the microcomputer scene. Digital Research was a relative late comer to the micro scene. Lots of companies BEGINNING with Microsoft, and including the likes of Tandy Radio Shack were on the scene before it. Microsoft shipped the first programmimg language for the MITS computer and its successors. Tandy was on the scene with TRS-DOS long before anyone heard of Digital Research. Microsoft pioneered in micro operating systems by introducing a variant of Unix called Xenix. It was there long before Apple, or to my knowledge, ANYONE else was looking to Unix as a potential micro OS. DRDOS did become popular, and was approached by IBM. DR blew off IBM, and IBM went to Microsoft. Gates has just acquired the rights to an OS, written by a third party, called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System). Gates offered that to IBM, and went on to refine and develop that OS. The rest is history. It's an inpossible stretch to imagine that Gates ripped off DRDOS. The two OSs were quite different. I knew MSDOS, and DRDOS was still a mystery to me. There was very little similarity between the two. If 'most' people don't think that, I suggest that it is because they don't really know the history.

It's the same with Visicalc. Sure Visicalc was the pioneering spreadsheet, but Excel did not copy nor did it compete with Visicalc. Excel's competition was not Visiscalc, but Lotus 123 and Lotus 123 blew Visicalc out of the water. There was no comparison between the two products other than they were both organized into rows and columns with formulas in the cells. Thus, you might accuse Mitch Kapor of ripping off Visicalc, but you can't accuse Microsoft or Gates of that. Visicalc was irrelevant to Excel, and was no longer a factor in the market. In addition, even Kapor didn't accuse Microsoft of ripping off his product. He accused Phillipe Kahn of that, but not Gates or Microsoft.

Wordperfect? It wasn't the first by a longshoot. Wang probably invented the word processor, and outfits like Tandy with its Scriptset were in the business long before anyone ever heard of WordPerfect. As was the case with Excel and Visicalc, Word did NOT copy WordPerfect. Anyone who knew Wordperfect, had a completely new learning curve if they wanted to switch to Word.

The same cannot be said of Apple. Apple directly copied the look and feel, even the peripherals of the Xerox system. Then Jobs claimed it was his. It wasn't.

Various antitrust charges came much later than the period being discussed. Microsoft probably did some of what you charge, but, without citing specific cases, you can't draw that general conclusion. Many companies were simply beat by better technology, and their subsequent charges were little more than sour grapes. I should note, however, that it was Microsoft that helped keep Apple afloat. First, by providing some of the key applications Apple needed to make their systems viable, and subsequently by direct investments to keep Apple afloat. The European Union simply sees a cash cow that they are trying to rip off while protecting their own home grown technology companies from superior US technology.

Apple is legendary for leaving their customers behind while moving on to new machines and new operating systems. Microsoft has done the opposite. The two companies are not at all comparable in that respect. In fact, that's part of what has made MS successful while the likes of IBM and Apple have faltered, and, in some cases, failed. Bringing in the updating of drivers and DLLs simply indicates that you don't know what this issue involves. We're not taking about updating a driver. We are talking about scrapping the entire machine and/or application. That is what Apple is legendary for doing, and what Microsoft does not do. The most recent case of this is the Intel Mac. Do you want the version of Photoshop which will actually run native on the machine? Buy an updated version of Photoshop. While this is not as bad as what has happened in the past, it is still the same old same old from Apple. Do you know what I need to do to run Photoshop with native Intel based code? Keep using my version of Photoshop.

You were the one who pointed to the elimination of the floppy disk as one of the technology leadership things that Apple has done. Anyone who thinks Microsoft controls whether or not floppies are offered on a Windows box is simply poorly informed in the extreme. Ditto for other hardware. MS could care less what hardware is installed on a Windows box, and eliminating floppy drives was strictly a manufacturer decision. MS would only care if existing Windows customers were left high and dry by hardware decisions. I note that you've now tried to shift the discussion to software. That has zero relevance to a comparison between Apple and Microsoft. Which Apple machine, BTW, offers Linux? Who is the one controlling, in every respect the software and hardware shipped on a machine?

Certainly it is true that MS has dropped support for things like Windows ME and 95. However, this was only done years after these OSs had been superceded, and the OSs continue to be supported within the current version of Windows. Apple drops support almost overnight when new technology is introduced. Again, their lack of ongoing support for existing customers is legendary. This is one thing that allows them to implement new technology. They hold the cost down by quickly dropping support for existing customers. It also helps build their revenue since customers are forced to buy new machines or be left behind. MS does not do this, and it has paid dearly over the years for insisting on providing this support.

I think Apple fans have trouble understanding things like Vista. Yes, new versions of Windows take a lot of time to develop and test. That is due to several factors. One is MS pushing new technology which must be debugged. The other is insuring that existing hardware and software on Windows machines continue to function. Since there is so much more hardware and software that runs under Windows, the problem is far larger than it is for Apple. Everybody who is anybody, except of course for the exclusively Apple world, must be heard, and, possibly, accomodated. Once the new OS is released, that doesn't mean that everyone will flock to it. Businesses certainly do not, and most users probably do not. The OS is given more time to mature and get the kinks worked out. One comment that is frequently made about MS is that they eventually get it right. They do, and they will. Folks will look at Vista when that happens.

Yes, data loss happens on computers. However, you don't expect an application to destroy its own databases when insisting, not asking, that an update be installed. When that happens, you expect the vendor to supply a recovery path. If they don't, you are dealing with incompetence at the system software level, and arrogance at the management level. That is what my experience with iTunes revealed. No help. No recovery. Too bad. Buy it again. That is Apple.

BTW, in the iTunes case, the data was backed up. iTunes resolutely refused to restore the collection. There was no way to convince it to reload the music from a CD which the earlier version had created. It was that CD that Windows Media Player used to successfully restore my purchased library of music. Again. That is incredibly bad design at the system software level.

I don't know what systems environment you worked in, but I worked for years in Windows environment. The systems ran the applications, and did their jobs. There were few problems, and few calls for support unless something new was being installed or done. You may have gotten 5-10 years from your Apple machines. I can't judge that. However, they would have to hit close to 10 years before they would outlive a Windows machine by two years. At least where I worked, that was the case. We did not replace machines unless there was a good reason to do so. They might be passed down the food chain, but they were not discarded.

I am surprised that you need me to make your day. Oh well.

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You're so funny
by saywhatnow / December 13, 2006 10:52 PM PST

I especially like the way you make statements without supplying any evidence. Cool.
MS has done a ton of innovating? A few examples would have been nice. Something like the list that Boya84 posted.

I have a small desktop accessory, it's a calendar, running on my OS X machine. It was written for System 6.5 (pre Windows 3.1) and still works under System 9, which I have running at the same time as OS X.

You write as though you believe what you write. That makes it all the funnier.

Keep posting, it's nearly Christmas and we all need to laugh more.

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I'm amused that while calling for support, you supply none
by Kiddpeat / December 20, 2006 10:35 PM PST
In reply to: You're so funny

for your own comments. Anyone who is not aware of MS innovation is simply ignorant of the historical development of the microcomputer.

I'm glad you have a calendar running on your machine. At least Jobs didn't obsolete everything in older releases. I was referring to software applications that perform actual, useful work.

Sip some more Apple juice. You will continue to feel warm and pleasant. Just don't nod off at the keyboard.

A calendar? Now that's REAL technology at work.

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You make some valid points KP
by grimgraphix / December 14, 2006 3:21 AM PST

MS has been good at improving many products.

Many of those products were gained by fairly hostile business moves... MS and Bill Gates in particular will never be called stupid when it comes to business ventures.

Palo Alto labs working for Xerox did develop the GUI into a usable idea... it's just that Xerox never saw a use for it and apple did. It is comparable to the first man who picked up a piece of chert flint and saw it was different than the average rock everyone else used to pound critters over the head with.

I believe I mentioned both windows and apples breaking down in the class room. If you are referring to the spinning beach ball then anyone who has experienced this can describe their frustration. Force/Quit (just like Control/Alt/Delete for a PC) is often the only answer. Heck man... I've seen them forced to reboot their computers on Star Trek for Pete's sake, and thats 300 years in the future ;)!

I can't speak for everyone but I don't see the unquestioning belief in apple product users that you seem to hint at. I see people who are enthusiastic about their choice of equipment... but heck... I'm not going to go out of my way to tell all the fellows in the local AMC Gremlins owners club how absurd their preference of vehicles is and those folks are just as enthusiastic! That is why I never argue one system being the penultimate choice over the other, and frankly why I am always confused when a dedicated PC user comes to the mac forums to tell us apple fans how deluded we are. I just don't see why one system has to be declared better than the other.

Many PC users come to this forum expressing their frustration with their current MS driven computer. Apple is a different choice that makes some people happy to work on a computer again. Why is their choice wrong then? Confused


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As I subsequently noted, I have used both Macs and PCs in
by Kiddpeat / December 20, 2006 10:53 PM PST

class. I have had Macs hang in class on several occasions. I have never had a PC in class which has hung. The Macs were, for the most part, running Photoshop, and the Mac literate instructors responded by killing power and/or rebooting the machine. The PCs have been running Adobe Premier Pro, Sound Forge, and Vegas. None of these are lite weight applications. All challenge the machine. Windows has, in my experience and observation, simply been for more reliable than the Mac OS.

I see the unquestioning belief in Apple in many places including school, online commentary, and this forum. I have seen and heard very little recognition of the very real problems in the Apple technology. Of course, when it simply doesn't work, it's hard to deny the problem.

I have nothing against adopting a good idea. I simply object when the credit for an idea is given to the wrong person or organization. I think that adopting and using good ideas is one of the marks of a great organization. That is one of the things that Microsoft does so well, and it is reflected in their success.

I don't say that choosing to use Apple technology is wrong. I'm simply saying that Apple doesn't offer technology which is unique to their platform. Thus, someone moving to Apple should not do so from the mistaken idea that the technology is superior.

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(NT) Not superior, per se... just different. ;-)
by grimgraphix / December 21, 2006 5:54 AM PST
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